Today I was making dinner and came to the bottom of the crockery draw. There in the bottom is the plate we call the dead mans plate. I don’t like this plate, mostly because it’s heavy. It’s likely good quality. That’s what the dead man liked. But it doesn’t match my other plates and it has a pattern on it that I don’t like and my mum and I have argued over who should have the dead man’s plate.
She would give me left overs if we had been at her house, and later I would find out it was the dead man’s plate and I would text her, or say to her when I realised, ‘thanks for the plate’. I tried so often to leave it at her house, but she always manages to give it back to me. Case in point, I currently have it.
I don’t like the plate, it makes me feel uncomfortable. A little sickly feeling inside, and that’s why I try to give it to my mum so often, because she was closer to him, and I don’t have the heart to throw it out. When I heard about this dead man, more than anything else, I was deeply shocked, and every time I look at this plate I think of him.
It was a suicide.
The death of our friend caused immense sadness to his loved ones. Every time I see this plate, it makes me think of the funeral, the day, all the things about the family, and the food I was forced to take home. The shock and sadness, and the one thing I will never forget. His partner telling me that the dead mans mother had also suicided. I felt so sad for our friend, I felt a tragedy and hole in his heart that was never able to heal.
His wife left without her partner, the children and then their children, who he will never meet or see again. All so tragic and me with this stupid plate. It seems like nothing, but every time I use this plate I think of him, and I think of the sorrow he must have faced and the sadness his family must have endured. It is uncomfortable, it’s a heavy plate in more than one sense.
I feel that I must give this plate again to my mum. Maybe whip up some cupcakes, and take them to her right now, on the plate, and leave it there with a few left on it. I might chat to her about our dead friend and make sure she is alright too. It never hurts, for people to be reminded of how important they are and how much we love them. In some ways, his death and the reasons for it are kept alive and ever present in our minds through the sharing of the plate.